Rapper Ja-Rule may have been a bit distant from music lately, however, he has been involved in the community. He, along with Erica Ford, Executive Director of LIFE Camp Inc. (a non-profit organization co-founded with the GRAMMY Award winning rapper) and community organizer Al Kanu, have launched a city-wide (New York City) gang intervention and prevention campaign Saturday, with a town hall meeting.
Participants in the forum included Idris Elba, Hassaan Johnson (Wee-Bee from The Wire), Ed Lover, Cheryl “Salt” James-Wray, Ja-Rule, Setwya Shakur (Tupac’s sister), Chaz Williams (CEO of Black Hand Entertainment) and rapper True Life. They discussed, in the open forum, what they see as some of the main problems in society.
“One thing I can’t stand, is to celebrate the negative in our culture,” said Idris Elba. “You were given one brain to figure out how to make your own steps.”
Ja-Rule agreed, “The biggest problem is ourselves.”
When asked about the motivation behind this campaign, Ford answered, “At LIFE Camp, we have always been committed to young people, even the ones that society has abandoned. Gangs stay active in our communities because many young people don’t believe that they have other options. With the Repping for LIFE campaign, we’re showing and giving other real options.” She adds, “It’s time to love LIFE, not death. Together, we can help end street violence and build a better future.”